Day 4 - Minimum Cost of Existing
Hi budget squad – we’re back and ready to tackle day 4. Who’s got coffee?!
You will need:
Your total bills expenditure calculations from day 2
Budget bible + pen
Access to online supermarket prices
Probably more coffee
Today we’re working on establishing your minimum cost of existing. So, your bills and rent/mortgage are covered by your existing calculations, so if we didn’t have to eat, we could just sit in our homes and survive without a problem.
But lol food is life, and so are jobs.
So factor in the very bare essentials – the minimum you could live on without harming yourself.
Write down 7 days worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that you can create as frugally as possible. I’m not saying you have to live by this, but it’s about establishing your minimum cost of survival. It’ll be different in every city, as costs vary around the world – as do your dietary requirements and capacity to consume plain pasta. Hop onto your online supermarket and have a look at prices to get an estimated minimum cost for feeding yourself.
Get creative, think bulk. How many meals can you get from a bag of pasta?!
Don’t forget fruits and vegetables – this needs to be safe and somewhat sustainable.
Next, note down any mandatory costs that you incur on a week-to-week basis to allow you to function. Things like petrol or public transport.
Add the two together, and then add that to your regular bills payment that you established on day 2.
And boom – you’ve got your minimum cost of existing. Now for that percentage again.
Yesterday our example meant that bills accounted for 38.8% of your total income.
For example’s sake, let’s say your minimum cost of living was 130 per month on transport and 130 per month on food.
With your bills at 1400, and your MCE (minimum cost of existing) at 260, your monthly non-negotiable outgoings are 1660.
Dividing that by our example income of 3600, we’re looking at around 46% of your income on living, eating and getting to and from work.
Take a break now, and we’ll see you tomorrow for day 5, where we’ll be deciding what to do with the rest of your income now that we know what it costs to survive.